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Synopsis
On the richly varied planet of Eternia lives Prince Adam, defender of Castle Grayskull. Secret powers have been granted to him, enabling him to transform himself into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Few others know his secret, as he and friends Teela, Man-at-Arms and Orko battle the evil forces of the villainous Skeletor, including Evil-Lyn, Beast Man and Mer-Man. Every week they are called upon to foil the schemes and plans of Skeletor, who will stop at nothing to seize the power of Eternia...

Episodes
The Curse of the Spellstone
Skeletor and Evil-Lyn place the planet of Eternia in peril by causing chaos with the magical Spellstone! With it, they unleash their secret weapon on the Royal Palace and trap the royal family, leaving He-Man a dangerous mission: to rescue his friends before they are completely consumed.

The Time Corridor
The Sorceress learns that Skeletor has travelled into Eterina’s past to create a war, consequently sending He-Man and friends to obstruct his dastardly plot. But Skeletor has joined forces with the deadly Ape Clan, hoping to destroy the future Castle Grayskull under the power of the Wheel of Infinity…

The Dragon invasion
Skeletor reveals his latest weapon, The Dragon Pearl – a magical device enabling him to besiege Eternia with deadly dragons, and imprison the Sorceress, leaving Castle Grayskull at his mercy! He-Man and the Heroic Warriors must turn to their original lizard aggressors for help if they ever hope to defeat Skeletor…

A Friend in Need
The dangerous escaped prisoner Jarvan learns that a Transmutator has been brought to Eternia, and formulates an elaborate scheme to steal it from its owners Ileena and Zicran. He makes Ileena dependant on a potion, and uses her to get his hands on the Transmutator, placing the whole of the Royal Palace in serious danger.

Masks of Power
A discovery from Eternia’s past transforms two of Skeletor’s minions into the long-dead powerful sorcerers, Deemos and Terella. But Skeletor’s efforts to recruit them to his cause go unheeded, and it’s up to He-Man to prevent the pair from retrieving the mysterious Sword of the Ancients from beneath Snake Mountain!

Evil-Lyn’s Plot
After He-Man crushes Skeletor’s efforts to gain the powerful Coridite, the dangerous sorceress Evil-Lyn hatches an underhanded scheme to trick the mineral’s guardians into handing it over. Can He-Man prevent Skeletor from utilizing the Coridite, so that he can become as powerful as He-Man himself?

Video
As with the first volume, the video is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Once again the quality is fairly passable, considering the age and origins of the material, and there are plenty of bright and colourful locations and artefacts are surprisingly scarce. The animation is still a little ropey, even compared to similar shows like Dungeons & Dragons, but this can be overlooked (especially when viewed through those handy rose-tinted spectacles).

Audio
Once again we get a plain old Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack, and once again it’s perfectly serviceable (if uninspiring). Dialogue remains clear throughout, as do the weird and whacky sound effects, and the all-important theme tune sounds as fantastically camp as ever. All in all this is a perfectly acceptable, faithful representation of what you would have heard back in the 80s, and you can’t ask for more than that.

Extras
The highlights of the supplemental features on the previous disc were undoubtedly the commentary tracks by people with far too much time on their hands. Well, they’re back, once again passing judgement on two episodes from the series (The Dragon Invasion and Evil-Lyn’s Plot). The tracks themselves should come with a warning—‘Danger: Anorak required’, such is the level of sadness reached. In other words, they’re great!

Next up we have a Character Profiler for the blue-meanie, Skeletor. As with the He-Man bio from the first volume, this is just a simple text-based affair. It makes for pretty interesting reading, but there are a number of spelling and grammatical errors.

The final pieces in this section are a Production Gallery and a Series Guide Gallery. The first of these presents a number of animation cells from various episodes, and isn’t really much to write home about. However, the second item is much more interesting, in that it contains the origins of most of the principal characters, along with sketches and story outlines for some of the episodes. The guide contains a number of interesting facts—not least Orko’s original name of Gorpo—and is well worth a read.

Overall
This is another worthy purchase for He-Man fans, and represents yet another solid release from Contender (who appear to have cornered the retro cartoon market). Audio-visual quality is just as good as the first volume, and although I’d have liked to see more commentaries on the disc the extras are also reasonably entertaining. Obviously this release is aimed at a certain market—namely the twenty-somethings who watched the show as kids—but it might be worth picking this up for your own kids, if only to show them that cartoons once had decent plots and characterisation! This one comes recommended to He-Man fans everywhere.


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